Strengthen Your Family Through Biblical Homeschooling

Tag: David

We have come to the end of our study of “Suffering” in Romans 5:1-11. The first installment was posted a couple of weeks ago and was on Endurance. The second was on Character and was sent out last week. If you missed those first two articles, click here to find the full “unpacking” of these themes as found in Romans 5.

Let’s enter back into our study from Romans.

To simplify this pathway to faith as presented by Paul in Romans 5:

  1. There is some hardship that enters your life (Suffering)
  2. You ask why and wonder what is the point of going through this (Endurance)
  3. Then the answer to those questions grounds you in truth (Character)

So, now we move unto Hope.

I think the easiest way to start with Hope is to describe what it is not. When Paul mentions hope in his letters, it is not like us saying, “Boy, I hope my team wins the World Series!” It is not hoping for something that might come true. It is not like placing a bet or buying stock. The kind of hope that Paul is describing is certain. It is the kind of hope that there is no chance that it will not happen or come true. So, when Paul mentions Hope, he is referring to belief and action in something that is 100%, absolutely true and real. It is always true under every circumstance or situation. Hope is directly connected to Faith and Belief.

Therefore, when something comes into your life that causes some level of suffering, whether it is disease or a business failure or losing a basketball game, the first thought we have is something along the lines of why am I doing this or what is the point. We start searching for meaning and wonder if we should just cut and run. In business, you analyze the money that it would cost you to shut the business down versus what it costs to keep going. In other words, is it more painful to continue or more painful to quit? So, relate that to any hardship. You are failing a school class–is it more prudent to finish and try to pull this grade up or should I drop it? You hate your job–Is it better to quit and find a new one or stick it out?

This process becomes endurance. Once you come to the other side of this stage (or for lack of a better term, evaluation) in the path, you feel like the ground under your feet has leveled.  Then the perspective you have is that you are right where you are suppose to be. “This is right, and I am suppose to be here.”  This results in strength because you put roots down. In other words, you gain character. Do you remember the image of the light house in the crashing surf in the last article? That is character.

Then character leads to hope. Hope is based on knowledge gained through experience. It is confidence and that is the rock that you have planted yourself in during hardship. You know that God will not abandon you because He didn’t abandon you during this time of suffering. Matter of fact, the suffering intensified the relationship and faith that you have in the Lord. That is hope, or better yet it is a certainty that you build your life and actions on. So, let’s rehearse the hope that we have as described in the Bible (feel free to add to my list):

  • God is Good
  • He loves us
  • He delights in using His people
  • He will finish His good work
  • He is our Creator
  • Nothing ever surprises Him

This is our Certainty…

Then Paul continues in Romans 5 and says that this hope will not put you to shame.

During the basketball season, the guys that I coached hated to lose. Their head usually fell after a loss, and there was shame. The guys usually felt like they did something wrong. Many of the guys would not even look up in the locker room after a loss. For them, the evaluation usually revolved around how did I cause this loss? What could I have done better? Well, I think that kind of shame after failure and disappointment is what Paul is referencing. He says that this suffering that you are experiencing is not based on your actions but on God’s purpose. God is building you for something greater in His purpose in the future. Paul is saying that after going though Endurance-Character-Hope, you will come out on the other side with no shame. There will be confidence because it is not based on something as faulty as our character but on God’s character and purpose.

Think of Job, after he went through the emotional and physical heartache of losing his children, loss of possessions, and even his reputation in town, he came out on the other side with more. Now I know that many of you reading this now have gone through great suffering yet you did not come out the other side with double your possessions. So, I can’t make any promises about what this might look like in your own life, but I think I can say that you come out with “More.” What I am trying to say is that suffering leads to real growth. Growth that is not easy to detect as you are going through the process, but when you are on the other side and look behind you, you can definitely see a hand guiding you.

This is why Paul says at the beginning of these verses,

“Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,… (Rom. 5: 2-3)

The Scripture reference is Romans 5: 1-11. If you haven’t read the rest of this series, click here to access them all.

So, this is the week! Our first event of the year in Rogers, AR. It starts on Thursday, March 21st. I sure would love to see you there, and to share our stories of how God has worked. If you want to learn more about these events, click here

 

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Sincerely,

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P. S. If you are reading this and you have already registered, we encourage you to invite your friends. You will receive $5 to spend in the exhibit hall for each family that uses your referral link, and they will get $5 off their registration. Check out our referral program here!

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Depending on who you ask or reference…approximately 60% to 80% of young people from Christian families are leaving the church once they graduate high school.  

Many Christian families look at these numbers with trepidation.

Some think that whether their children become a statistic or not is completely out of their control. We are all observant enough to perceive that there are a lot of big churches out there that are empty on Sundays. We notice that the church in America seems to be shrinking and not growing. Some adults have even accepted this idea of the prodigal son or daughter as being a part of growing up where we can expect children to leave the church for a time.

All of us who went to a secular college or university went through the gauntlet of a bitter professor that spent an inordinate amount of time trying to convince young Christians that there was no God. I was one of these young people that went through his teenage years in a church-going home, never believing, and fleeing the church the first opportunity I received. I didn’t believe in Christ when I arrived at college and while I was there one of these professors simply gave force to the beliefs already bouncing around my head. By college, I had already veered off the course my family preached.

I was no longer willing to check the same boxes as my family…

These larger statistics of young people leaving the church and the antidote to this trend is the answer to why we believe these events are so important.

I want to give you a quote that is foundational to the mission of Teach Them Diligently. Make no mistake, we are a homeschool convention, but we are also much more! Teach Them Diligently has a mission tied closely to the Great Commission that we believe will turn the tide of young people leaving the church.

“You teach what you know, but you reproduce who you are!”

If you have been around Teach Them Diligently for a while (this is our 8th year producing events,) you have heard me say this from the main stage at one point or another. Keep reading because I will tie that quote into the larger mission, but first, another story connected to a good friend of ours.

Once as I was reading Family Shepherds by Voddie Baucham, I noticed how he described how separated our families are now.  He points out that a typical Christian family will send their children to a traditional school for 8 hours a day while the parents head to work. The mom and dad often get home late, and the children are generally participating in extra activities like cheerleading, sports, clubs, etc. Once everyone finally comes home, they scarcely ever eat a meal together. The children will do homework and study for tests while parents watch television or whatever.  Then, they go to church, and it is worse. They go to Sunday School separated by age and then on to children’s church. The church is filled with programs broken down by age so the families seldom worship together in the same room or even sit together. Many young children never witness their parents actively participating in worship.

Did you know that the average father or mother only spends 34 minutes per day with their children?

When I saw this, my immediate thought was that this was the answer…! This is the reason that so many of our children are running from the church when they leave the home.

In Deuteronomy 6 God gives a very direct and specific plan to the Israelites about how to pass down their faith in God to their children. He does not say create this institution or find a youth pastor or find a good school. Instead He directly instructs the parents. He tells them how and what to teach. We will unpack this a little more in an upcoming article.  However, what I want to focus on right now is that God instructs the parents to teach them.

Now, some of you are reading this and thinking that I am demonizing all schools, youth groups, and Sunday School programs. I am not!  What I am saying is that there are a lot of parents that are anxious to throw their children to churches and schools to disciple and educate them. They are outsourcing!

So many parents do not even realize that they are the ones God has directed to pass down a love and belief in the redemptive work of Christ.

Homeschooling is not a checkbox! You don’t suddenly start homeschooling and your children become smarter and more spiritual than everyone else.  At Teach Them Diligently, we are adamantly opposed to diminishing a Life with Christ to a series of checkboxes.

The truth is that our children need their parents. They need parents to invest in them and engage.

It is very possible to engage in discipling your children and still send them to public or private school. However, I do think it is harder, but definitely possible! I know a lot of children that love the Lord in public and private schools.

We (Teach Them Diligently) are advocates for homeschooling because we believe homeschooling with the intention of discipleship and equipping them to excel in this world is the best way to reproduce young people that love the Lord Jesus Christ . Additionally, we believe parents are to teach their children how to teach and mentor others. Some of you have heard me say many times that your home is your Jerusalem, and Leslie and I absolutely believe that our mission is first to those God placed in our home.

AND, if parents are to be the disciplers God meant them to be, there is one word you should remember that is incredibly important in this process. I discussed this one important word in another article you can access by clicking here.  It truly could be the most impactful thing you could ever tell your children in the day to day process of raising and equipping them, so I encourage you to take a few minutes to check it out.

We believe the antidote for the flow of young Christians out of the church and away from Christ is parents engaging and taking serious the task of discipleship God has given them.

This is the reason that you hear us talk so much about relationships at our events, and that is the reason Leslie penned the Teach Them Diligently book to talk about what the Bible has to say about discipleship-focused parenting.

Of course, we spend a lot of time talking about the academic success of homeschooling. However, there are also a lot of sessions regarding relationships in terms of parenting and marriage and even your relationship with Christ. Every year there are several that realize that they have never come to a saving knowledge of Christ. (One year, we had 8 salvation decisions in our teen program that wasn’t even programmed with that end as a goal.)

We don’t ignore teaching methods, organization, and academics. But, if you are in October and getting frustrated because your school year is not quite going the way you envisioned in August, remember that the core is discipleship. Pray over your homeschool! Ask God to forgive you for being frustrated and remember what the ultimate goal is! It will be okay! God is with you!

God will not ask you to do anything that he has not equipped you to achieve, right? You need Him, though, and that is the point.

He does not expect you to be perfect! Which brings me again to the one word you need to remember…You can read that article here!

For now,…Remember that your children need you to engage in their life with Christ and mentor them to be reproducible believers equipped to love God and to serve Him better in the future.

We at Teach Them Diligently see our mission as encouraging you to seize the role God has for you and help you proceed with greater confidence as a servant of Christ. We truly do believe that homeschooling when done Biblically will strengthen your family in Christ.

We would love to have you join us there, because we truly do believe that you need this encouragement and further equipping for the mission God has given you. Find an event near you and plan to join us now.

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Sincerely,

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Diligent Training

If you are a homeschooler in America, you are probably familiar with Tim Tebow, the two time national champion, Heisman trophy winning, former Denver Broncos Quarterback, and current Baseball player. We had his mom, Pam Tebow, speak at Teach Them Diligently a few years ago, and she was terrific!

Several years ago, I had my oldest son read Tim Tebow’s autobiography when it first came out. In his book, he tells the story of how his parents read Deuteronomy 6 and out of that, they decided to homeschool their children.

Deuteronomy 6 is a pretty important chapter in Jewish culture.

According to Deuteronomy 6…the home for a child was to surround them in the statutes and rules of the commandments of the Lord. The child in a typical Jewish home was taught by what they saw, heard, did, and felt. The sense is that they were to be soaked in the commandments like a sponge that is dropped in a bucket of water.

Deut. 6: 6-9
See: Bind Them as a sign on your hand; frontlets between your eyes
Heard: Talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and rise.
Felt: Shall be on your heart
Did: Write Them on the doorposts

To this day, there are families in the Holy Land that literally strap verses to their hands and have boxes attached to their foreheads with verses in them. ImageI don’t think we are being called by God to go find boxes and straps rather than curriculum. However, the principle is clear that we are to teach our children by keeping the knowledge and wisdom of the Lord around them constantly.

In another article, I mentioned that the average parent spends 34 minutes with their child each day. (Here is a link to that article.)  It is hard for any parent to follow the model of Deuteronomy 6 unless they are present and engaged in the child’s life.

Generally, when we start our homeschool day, we think in terms of academic subjects (i.e. Math, English, Grammar,…) complete with curriculum, pre-defined class objectives, etc. But, our view of discipleship should go well beyond that.

I am not going to tell you that teaching from curriculum is bad, of course, but I will say that the description of instruction as presented in Deuteronomy 6 does not start with…
⦁    Go buy that perfect curriculum;
⦁    Assess the Learning Style of your child;
⦁    Or, find the charismatic youth pastor;

Even when you are not “present” in the life of your child, you are teaching them something. Let me explain to you what I mean…Passing down a legacy of serving God to our children is not dependent on a pre-defined 30 minute period before bed or in the morning. It actually happens during the in-between times.

Discipleship happens constantly:

  • When you lie down
  • When you walk
  • When you sit

Discipleship like this can’t be faked! It over flows…

What we don’t realize is that we are teaching even when we aren’t teaching! Even when we aren’t teaching in the traditional sense we are communicating a vision; what makes us tick; and what our loves are. Who we are overflows onto those that are close to us! Here is a picture of how our influence typically works…Check out this video

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If you have been coming to Teach Them Diligently events for several years, you may remember me referencing this video before a keynote about how we, as parents, overflow on those that are close to us. You may have heard me say that we teach what we know but we reproduce who we are. This means that in an ideal scenario:

  1. We seek God and he fills us.
  2. What we learn and receive from God fills us.
  3. We do not keep that knowledge and experience to ourselves but we overflow.
  4. The overflow is relatively controlled and touches first those that are closest to us (like the water overflowing the cup and runs into the saucer.)
  5. However, God does not stop filling us and we not only overflow onto those closest to us but also those outside our home (like the water hitting the table.)
  6. Once the overflow gets beyond our home and those closest to us, who knows how many it will impact.
  7. Then, it spreads even further as we allow God to fill us to overflowing (like when the water hits the floor in this video.)

In this scenario, you can’t help but impact those around you.  What God tells us in Deuteronomy 6 is to place our children in the flow of water.  Soak them in it so they can experience and see, taste, hear, and feel who God is simply from being in the flow of what He is doing.

God Grows You to Grow Your Children!

Now, God doesn’t just tell us “How” to pass our Faith down to our children. He also tells us “What.”

As a parent and a teacher, you are always answering the questions of “What” and “Why” which is also referenced later on in Deuteronomy 6, verse 20.

Tomorrow, I am going to expand on the method of instruction that is described in Deuteronomy 6 concerning what we should be teaching our children.

We at Teach Them Diligently see our mission as encouraging you to seize the role God has for you and helping you precede with greater confidence as a servant of Christ. We truly do believe that homeschooling when done Biblically will strengthen your family in Christ.

We really do hope you will make it a priority to join us at a Teach Them Diligently event. The fellowship, encouragement, refocusing, and equipping you will get there is truly something every family needs.  Register now and start making your plans to join us this Spring! Click here to register today!

Sincerely,
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Register for the Homeschool Convention Today
Homeschooling Parents

About David and Leslie Nunnery

Leslie Nunnery and her husband David founded Teach Them Diligently, the nation’s premier source for gospel-centered homeschool events. With seven years of homeschooling experience from preschool-high school and a passion to encourage and equip homeschool families, this mom of 4 shares her know-how and insights weekly through Teach Them Diligently media and on TeachThemDiligently365.com.

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